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Safe Outdoor Spaces 101

Denver's experiment with sanctioned homeless camps


What is a Safe Outdoor Space (SOS)?

It's a property where homeless residents may camp or park their cars, sanctioned by the City. Denver's Zoning Administrator has sole authority to issue permits, in all neighborhoods. The sites were originally defined as "temporary."


What does "temporary" mean?

The current end date is 21 days after City and State COVID-19 health orders expire.


Now the Mayor, City Council, and Zoning Administrator want to extend the end date to December 31, 2023


for "economic impact" reasons.


How many unhoused people are in Denver?

According to the Denver's Point in Time report, the city has approximately 4,000 homeless residents. Homeless = no permanent residence.


Approximately 1,000 are actually unsheltered. Unsheltered = living on the street, not in a shelter or temporary housing.


65-70% of unsheltered people have addiction and/or mental health challenges.


Sanctioned camps do not eliminate unsanctioned camping. Only 2 in 20 -- or 10% -- of unsheltered people actually accept the services offered by the City.


Read full article HERE.




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